Last month Anything Goes star Colin Donnell said “bon voyage” to the S.S. American and set sail to…Vancouver? Donnell took a leave of absence as ship stowaway Billy Crocker to shoot the CW pilot Arrow, a modern-day retelling of the DC Comics' The Green Arrow. On April 3, Donnell returns to the Tony-winning revival. Broadway.com recently caught up with Donnell to talk about shooting the new pilot and how it feels to be back at sea, onstage at least.
“[Arrow] is very real, very grounded,” Donnell told Broadway.com of the series. “[It’s] not just comic book-y. It’s a mixture of Batman Begins meets Jason Bourne from The Bourne Identity.” Directed by David Nutter (Smallville) and written by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg (Green Lantern), Arrow is the story of a wealthy man (played by Stephen Amell) who fights crime using archery and martial arts. Donell plays Tommy Merlyn, the Green Arrow's equally wealthy best friend. So did Donnell get the chance to film any comic book-style action scenes? “No,” he said with a laugh. “But I got to lie on a wooden pallet while Steven Amell did all that stuff, so that was pretty cool.”
Even though Donnell didn't take any bad guys down himself, he did get to cruise Vancouver in a $500,000 ride. “[Merlyn] is a billionaire playboy, bad-boy kinda guy,” Donnell said. “I’m kind of a car guy, and I read in the script that he [gets] out of a Mercedes McLaren. I was like, 'This is gonna be awesome.'” Although Donnell “definitely” didn’t get to drive the extremely pricey vehicle, he was thrilled just to see the McLaren in person. “Even sitting in that thing is awesome!”
Despite having a blast filming in Vancouver, Donnell is glad to be back home on Broadway. “I really, really missed everybody while I was gone,” said the Anything Goes star. “I’m very excited to get back to Joel [Grey] and Erin [Mackey]…And now to get back onstage with [new leading lady Stephanie J. Block] is going to be really exciting.”
In May, the actor will find out whether Arrow will be picked up as a full CW series. If it does, he will return to Vancouver in July for more shooting. Until then, the actor is keeping his fingers crossed. “April’s gonna be a very long month,” he said with a laugh.